Luda’s Letters #6

After a nice break for Midsummer, HJK Naiset is back to work!

With just two days of training, our first match had already arrived. TPS was our first opponent in Naisten Liiga this season so I had been looking forward to this rematch for quite a while. They were part of our rocky start and I knew this game would be our chance to prove how far we’ve come since March. The game started even better than I could’ve expected. After just 12 minutes, we found ourselves up 2-0! The energy on the field was good and our attacks were dangerous almost every time, creating more chances that I had expected. But after one of our corner kicks, TPS counterattacked, took the ball the length of the field and found the back of the net. I think we let this affect our attitudes more than we should and that’s when the game started to change. We were still able to hold the lead for some time but TPS tied it up 2-2 just before halftime.

Going into halftime with a tied game can be frustrating, especially when we had a 2-0 lead early on. But I like to see it as a fresh start and a clean slate. All you have to do is win the next half. It felt like defensively we were kind of all over the place during the game but we managed to hold them off. We had some dangerous chances as well. They took the lead about halfway through the second half but we knew we still had plenty of time to get it back. We stayed focused and together and in the final minutes we tied it back up! Although we could have played much better and possibly even taken 3 points from TPS, it was great to see our team’s fighting spirit all the way until the final whistle. And taking this 1 point was very important as we moved up to 6th place within the league and above the line for the first time this season!!

Now we have a quick turnaround as we leave for Åland early Saturday morning. Last season I joined the team late after graduating college so I missed the away game at Åland. I’ve heard it is a beautiful place in Finland, especially in the summer. I’m excited to see the island and play another game. Game days are the best days! ÅU is always a tough opponent but I know we are ready to compete and once again prove how far we have come as a team this season.